Feeds

eBay: Botnets are Linux-happy

Security chief goes to the bank

Build a business case: developing custom apps

eBay may soon offer online banking. It would seem.

This afternoon, while fielding questions about PayPal at Santa Clara University conference obsessed with "trust online," chief information security officer Dave Cullinane seemed to indicate eBay is interested in extending the popular online payment system to its logical conclusion.

"What we're trying to do is provide a trusted payment system that's within the community that constitutes eBay Inc., trying to be all things, but we aren't the bank yet," he said, before adding "Did I say yet?"

Cue audience laughter. But you have to wonder. Before joining eBay, Cullinane was the CISO at Washington Mutual, one of the largest banks in the US.

Or maybe we're just having fun.

During his hour-long keynote, Cullinane stuck mostly to generalizations when discussing eBay's security practices, but he had a few interesting things to say about his time with Washington Mutual.

At one point, he said, the bank spent a month as the largest phishing target in the country, and in fighting this ongoing problem, it has shutdown countless phishing sites surreptitiously installed on countless machines across the net.

"These things are incredibly sophisticated, and when they take over a computer, most [users] don't know it," he said. "With every single phishing site [Washington Mutual has] shutdown, not one person was aware been aware that their machine was compromised and used for phishing. That includes university servers and company servers and personal PCs and all sorts of things."

More interesting is that most of the compromised machines were not Windows machines. "The vast majority of [the phishing sites] we saw were on rootkit-ed Linux boxes, which was rather startling. We expected a predominance of Microsoft boxes and that wasn't the case."

This pleased Microsoft's head of Silicon Valley PR, who served as a conference sponsor.

Botnets are obviously a big problem for eBay as well, but Cullinane wouldn't quite say how big. "We see botnet attacks that are massive in their size and scope. We did a preliminary analysis and found over - I guess I'm not supposed to say that, what the number is - but we found a huge number of bots aimed specifically at eBay, trying to do things specifically to us."

The problem has become so bad that eBay operates under the assumption that every personal PC is infected, he says. "With the desktop, we're starting to run on the assumption that anyone who's trying to contact us from their own personal desktop is probably coming from a compromised computer." ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?